More than 25,000 gamers from all over the U.S. and the world are converging on Atlanta this weekend for the 25th anniversary of DreamHack at the Georgia World Congress Center.
More than $1 million in esports tournament prizes will be awarded during the festival, which will run 24 hours a day through Sunday, Nov. 17.
The festival arrives in town just after the Atlanta Sports Council launched the Atlanta Esports Alliance, a new division designed to bring major esports and gaming events to the metro area.
“Because Atlanta is the No. 1 city for gaming environment and No. 5 city for gamers, the Atlanta Esports Alliance is being launched to drive new opportunities for teams, tournaments, venues and esports service providers and partners in Atlanta,” said Dan Corso, sports council president.
DreamHack is a gaming lifestyle festival in which gamers celebrate digital culture in real life. DreamHack Atlanta features a 24-hour-a-day Local Area Network party; esports gaming competitions; university matches; stream studio; console, PC and arcade games; tabletop games; expo; cosplay; live music; escape room; and other activities.
Gamers can participate or watch professionals compete in esports tournaments with hundreds of thousands of prize dollars on the line.
Atlanta is home to three franchised esports teams: the Atlanta Reign (Overwatch), Hawks Talon (NBA 2K) and the Atlanta FaZe (Call of Duty). With 150 gaming studios throughout Georgia, the region is also the headquarters of esports game developers Hi-Rez Studios and Blue Mammoth; Scuf Gaming; and professional esports league ELEAGUE.
“Atlanta is a top esports city because we have the venues and infrastructure required to host major events plus all the elements unique to the esports ecosystem,” said Todd Harris, founder and CEO of Skillshot Media and chair of the Atlanta Esports Alliance. “Our K-12 and higher education systems have recognized and sanctioned esports as a varsity activity, and Atlanta’s business community understands the value of esports and its audience.”
DreamHack made its Atlanta debut in 2017. Earlier this year, it hosted its first festival in Dallas, and next February, DreamHack will make its U.S. West Coast debut in Anaheim.
"It’s remarkable to see how far the esports and video game industry has come since the beginning of DreamHack 25 years ago," said Bas Bruinekool, DreamHack vice president and an Atlanta Esports Alliance board member. "We first brought this festival to Atlanta because of how quickly this industry was growing here. Three years later, it is still one of only three U.S. markets we are currently visiting."
Day passes are $35 per person, with weekend passes starting at $79. Kids under age 5 are free.
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